Dr. Boyce Watkins; R. Kelly Grand Marshall, Children’s Parade? Say What?
(ThyBlackMan.com) In one of the oddest events we’ve seen in a while, R. Kelly, the man who was accused of molesting a young girl, was asked to be the grand marshall of a children’s back-to-school parade. The parade was the 82nd annual Bud Billiken Parade, held in the Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. It is the largest and oldest African American parade in the country.
R. Kelly (aka. Robert Sylvester Kelly) was first known to have a penchant for underage women when he married 15-year old singer Aaliyah. This was right after he wrote the song, ”Age Ain’t Nothin’ But a Number.”
There is also the famous sex tape showing R. Kelly having sex with an underage girl. He says it’s not him, but millions who have seen the tape would dare to disagree. I’m sure his fans know what he looks like.
Even more interesting is the fact that R. Kelly has recently admitted that he can’t read. Now, I don’t know if he’s taking classes to become a better reader, or is simply paying someone to read for him. But we do know for a fact that the man allowed himself to grow past the age of 30 without attempting to possess any of the skills that these young children are expected to obtain when school starts back this month.
Perhaps Mr. Kelly wasn’t the best choice for Grand Marshall of this parade.
Wait a second…perhaps the head of the parade and the entire planning committee needs to fired immediately. Who in the hell thought that having a man like R. Kelly lead a parade for young children would be a good idea? Yes, R. Kelly miraculously beat his child pornography charge, but being found not guilty is not the same as being proven innocent.
The decision to make R. Kelly the head of a parade for young children is a revealing and uncomfortable manifestation of just how skewed our values have become. The only thing that matters to some of us is that a person is rich and famous. We care almost nothing about character, integrity or whether that individual serves as a good role model. All that matter is that “he be jamming on the radio.”
The fact that R. Kelly is such a talented singer is what led to many Chicago radio stations reneging on their pledge to keep his music off the airwaves during his trial. But I am reminded of a conversation I had with an executive at a Chicago station, who simply admitted that he doesn’t care what R. Kelly did to young girls. Kelly’s talent seemed to make it worthwhile to support a man who may have ruined countless young lives throughout the course of his career. I also recall BET, the same year, giving R. Kelly an award and making him their keynote performer at their awards ceremony.
The verdict is clear: Allegations of the molestation of young black women are easily forgiven if the perpetrator is rich, famous or extremely talented. In other cases, we might choose to be mad at the assailant, but only for a little while. Perhaps we should simply sell our children to the highest bidder, since protecting them is clearly an inconvenience when we’re trying to get our groove on at the club.
Now, we sit back and wonder why millions of our kids go to school disinterested in the boring pursuit of success and education. Instead, they go to school to learn how to become singers, rappers and athletes. They pursue the dreams of celebrity life being fed to them on Vh-1 each night by Basketball Wives and the Real Housewives of Atlanta, because they know that wealth and power exempts you from accountability for any sin you may commit. The poor choices of our children are a clear reflection of the idiocy they’ve inherited from the adults all around them.
My child would never attend a parade with R. Kelly as its Grand Marshall. I’m sure that many of the good people on the South Side of Chicago also agree. The last thing a city with so much youth violence needs is for an accused child molester to be given ready access to our young children. R. Kelly is nobody’s role model.
Staff Writer; Dr. Boyce Watkins